A long winless streak for Carbonear Collegiate Sentinels against their rival Ascension Astros finally came to a halt last week.
“Not since 2004!” That was a statement on the lips of many hockey fans in the halls of Carbonear Collegiate during the days leading up to the championship game of the Kixx Country Cup on Dec. 15. In the winter of 2004 the Sentinels defeated the Ascension Collegiate Astros in overtime at the regional School Sport Newfoundland and Labrador qualifier but but Carbonear Collegiate hadn’t beaten the Astros since.
In familiar fashion the Sentinels lost to the Astros 6-3 earlier this season. But with the hometown fans behind them, in a tournament hosted at Harbour Grace’s S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium, the winless streak against the Astros finally ended. Last Tuesday afternoon the Sentinels defeated the Astros when it counted most, in a tournament championship game.
Both teams went undefeated in round-robin play. Carbonear Collegiate shut out Queen Elizabeth II 5-0, whipped the Exploits Valley High Eagles 9-3, squeaked by Holy Heart 5-4, and then dropped O’Donel High in the semi-final 74. Ascension Collegiate reached the final by beating Holy Spirit 5-3, O’Donel 3-1, and Prince of Wales Collegiate 5-2 in the preliminaries, and then trounced Exploits Valley High in the semi, 9-5.
The Astros put the pressure on Carbonear from the drop of the puck and some needless Sentinels penalties put the home team in hot water. The Sentinels found themselves killing penalties for almost the first five minutes and scrambled to keep the Astros off the scoreboard. Spectacular saves by Carbonear goaltender David Fullerton kept his team in the game, shifting the momentum to the Sentinels.
The floodgates opened midway through the first period as Carbonear scored four unanswered goals on the sticks of Brett Shute (who scored twice), Saige Peddle and Brendan Rose. With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, Michael Andrews netted one for the Astros and then repeated that feat with less than 30 seconds remaining, closing the gap to two goals.
Carbonear coach Geoff Seymour said he felt a little nervous at the end of the second period. “Going into the third I knew the next goal scored would be crucial,” said Seymour. “ Whoever scored the first goal in the third would have an edge.”
Both teams came out flying in the third, but some undisciplined penalties by the Astros put them on the defensive for most of the first half of the period. Carbonear sharpshooter Shute scored the Sentinels’ fifth goal on a power play, completing the hat trick and giving the Sentinels all the confidence they needed to finish the game on top.
With two minutes left the hometown fans began the “na na, hey hey, goodbye” chant as they witnessed the end of a five year drought.
HAVING WORDS - A linesman separates Nathan Morrey of the Southern Shore Breakers and Shane Gamberg of the Conception Bay CeeBee Stars as they exchange words in the third period in a match played at the Mobile Arena Dec. 13. The CeeBees edged the Breakers 4-3 and as a result of the win the first place Stars moved six points up on the Southern Shore and four points up on the Mount Pearl Blades in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League standings.
MAKING SAVE - Southern Shore Breakers’ goaltender Lee Noseworthy stretches to make a save on Conception Bay CeeBee Stars’forward Matthew Thomey (No. 22) in a match played at the Mobile Arena Dec. 13.
Photo by Dan MacEachern, The Compass ICING ON THE CAKE - Brett Shute of Carbonear Collegiate celebrates his third goal of the game, giving the Sentinels a 5-2 lead over Ascension Collegiae, which held up as the final score.